Johannesburg‚ Dec 27 (I-Net Bridge) - The rand gathered strength at noon on Thursday‚ taking its lead from firmer global markets‚ amid hopes of a resolution to the looming so-called US fiscal cliff.

At 11.41am‚ the rand was bid at R8.5146 to the US dollar from its previous close of R8.5657. The local currency was bid at R11.2960 to the euro from its previous close of R11.3265 and at R13.7592 against sterling from R13.8039 before.

The euro was bid at $1.3269 from its overnight close of $1.3227.

“There is a sense of optimism that a solution to the US fiscal crisis will be found‚ with President Barack Obama cutting short his vacation for the resumption of talks on the issue‚” said Kuziva Muganiwa‚ global markets analyst at Vunani Private Clients.

The US‚ the world's biggest economy‚ has the year-end deadline to avert the US fiscal crisis of spending cuts and tax hikes worth billions of US dollars‚ which analysts believe could tip the country into recession.

11.41am Bids Range so far Previous Close

(9.41am GMT)

Dollar/rand 8.5146 8.5036 - 8.5866 8.5657

Euro/rand 11.2960 11.2804 - 11.3813 11.3265

Sterling/rand 13.7592 13.7394 - 13.8604 13.8039

Euro/dollar 1.3269 1.3222 - 1.3273 1.3227